Are Email Marketing Best Practices Best For You?

Break the Rules
I’ve been contemplating this idea of “email marketing best practices” for some time now. I’ve seen plenty of examples of individuals and companies (in both B2C & B2B) “breaking the rules” when it comes to email marketing … and still finding success.

In fact, last month at Explore Dallas (a killer event hosted by Jason Falls & Aaron Marshall) my topic was titled “Breaking the Rules of Email Marketing.” In that presentation (view slides here), I examined several folks who broke the rules. Specifically, I shared examples of people who:

  1. Sent “ugly” emails
  2. Used ALL CAPS or the word  free” in a subject line
  3. Used popups to collect email addresses

I believe strongly that email marketing best practices are practices that are best for you … and your audience/subscribers.

I’m looking to prove the point that you can bend or even break some of the email marketing rules and still be very successful. I need your help to continue making the case.

How Can You Help & What’s In It For You?

If you are interested in helping, please post a comment below (or email me – djwaldow at waldowsocial dot com) with examples of the following:

  • Emails that are mostly images (or one big image)
  • “Ugly” emails
  • Emails that have the unsubscribe in a prominent place (not in the footer)
  • Email marketers who deploy their campaigns at “odd/off” hours – late at night, on the weekends, etc.
  • Companies who use single vs. double opt-in
  • Organizations who send email without explicit permission
  • Email marketers who buy lists (come on – I know there are some of you out there!)

What’s in it for you? I’m looking to write a series of blog posts showcasing these “rule breakers.” If you provide me the example, I’ll mention you in the blog post and link back to whatever URL you’d like. While I can’t guarantee fame and fortune, this is the next best thing. Right?

Thanks! Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Cheers
DJ Waldow

14 comments
djwaldow
djwaldow

@barbchamberlain @cspenn Love that unsub link/image from Penn. LOVE.

sharonmostyn
sharonmostyn

Do I get credit if I already emailed you a "bad image" example? ;)

GreggBlanchard
GreggBlanchard

I've run a hobby newsletter for about 5 years now and have always used text-only emails.  Both times I tried to switch to an HTML email template (most recently a couple months ago), email performance went down the tube. Leaves me scratching my head when i look at some of the numbers we crunch for ski resorts, but it tells me that for some (perhaps personalized emails especially), a fancy email template isn't required.

djwaldow
djwaldow moderator

 @GreggBlanchard Excellent point you make about personalized emails. I think that's the key. If you want to keep your emails more personal, write them in mostly-text. When was the last time a friend of yours sent an HTML, image-heavy email?

rosiemedia
rosiemedia

In email as in life there are no absolutes.You definitely prove that here! I think for many people, 'best practices' can mean 'magic bullet' and we all know that it just doesn't exist. One best practice I've heard is 'Send it out on Tuesday." As if Tuesday were any better than the other days of the week. DJ - You said it:  It's all about YOUR audience.  If I think of any rule breakers, I'll send 'em over!

djwaldow
djwaldow moderator

Thanks for your comments,  @rosiemedia ! Agree that many are looking for the silver bullet. And that whole thing about sending email on Tuesdays - that always makes me chuckle.

krusk
krusk

Don't have any examples off the top of my head but what I am wondering (and hoping you'll find out) is if these 'rule breaker' have tested their actions against best practices. Are they seeing success because they don't know what else might work better? Or are they doing it because they tested and really found that was what worked best for them.

 

My hunch is the former, but I'm willing to be proven wrong! 

djwaldow
djwaldow moderator

 @krusk Fair question, Kelly. To answer your question ... a bit of both.